The Knicks come into this season with some new additions, but will it be enough to lift them over the East’s few other elite teams, and make them valuable to our NBA picks?
It was all smoke and mirrors last season for the Knicks. They started off the season playing very well, especially on defense. They started the regular season at 11-4 SU, and looked like they were on their way. They did end up as the 2nd overall seed in the East, but they were damaged goods.
The roster was (and still is) very old last season and even guys like Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton had to miss substantial time. Was it just bad luck, or are the Knicks full of injury-prone veterans who are all past their primes? It’s tough to say, but the fact of the matter is, I doubt even a healthy Knicks team could have beaten made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Knicks made it past the Rondo-less Celtics in the first round, only to get pushed and shoved around by the Pacers in the 2nd round, losing in six games. This season things will be even tougher, and despite getting better this offseason, I see regression as very likely.
The Knicks have been full of questionable moves this summer, and it started off with a bang. Despite Carmelo Anthony calling it “a steal,” the Knicks traded away a first and two 2nd round picks, along with Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and Quentin Richardson. There are several reasons why this deal is far from a steal, so let me spell it out for the shut-in Knicks fans.
Bargnani has only played 66 games in the last two seasons, and started only 56 of them. He will be 28 by the time the season gets here, and even though he can fill it up on any night, he is a one-dimensional player at best. He is a 7-footer who shoots threes, doesn’t rebound or play defense. He is also vastly overpaid, being owed $23 million over the next two seasons. While he will help the Knicks’ scoring, he is a defensive liability. In the regular season that will be no issue, but against the likes David West, Kevin Garnett, Carlos Boozer or Chris Bosh in a playoff series, it will get ugly. The only thing Bargnani is known for right now is being one of the top ten #1 overall pick busts of all time.
The second reason this trade was awful was the fact that the Raptors have been trying to trade this guy for the better part of two seasons, and the Raptors never even got close to getting a 1st round pick in return for him! There were times last season where a deal of Carlos Boozer for Bargnani straight up was discussed. How all of a sudden is he worth three draft picks, including a first? Did his value go up that much after missing the first 19 games of the season, then coming back just to miss 24 more? He made fewer than 40% of his shots from the field in 2012-2013. Is this really the guy that is the missing piece in New York, or is he just another addition to the Knicks’ status quo? I’m siding with the latter.
They also made the questionable move of resigning JR Smith to a three-year $25 million deal. After that deal was announced, he immediately had knee surgery. That is not good, and on top of that it was probably overpaying for his services. He was paid for what he has done, not what he will do. Finally, they made the two cheap and solid moves of grabbing Metta World Peace, and resigning Kenyon Martin.
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The Knicks are +2200 to win the NBA Title next season, which is behind four teams in the East and four in the West. Although I think their chances of having a solid regular season are ok, they have to stay healthy to do it. All in all however, once they get to the playoffs, the Knicks will falter against the East’s better teams. The rest of the East has all gotten a lot better, while the Knicks have only gotten a little better.
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